Saudi Arabia backs Egypt’s digital future, crafts with $6.4m grant

Rania Al-Mashat. (REUTERS)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Saudi Arabia backs Egypt’s digital future, crafts with $6.4m grant

  • The bank’s portfolio in the medium, small and micro enterprises sector is worth about $600 million

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia has given one of Egypt’s largest banks a $6.4 million grant to finance digital transformation and encourage local crafts programs in the country.
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, said on Saturday that the Saudi Grant Management Committee funding for the Bank of Alexandria will strengthen financing mechanisms to support small, medium and micro enterprises, and create job opportunities.
The Saudi Arabia Grant Committee has funded 2,180 projects so far in 27 governorates, creating about 12,000 jobs.
Al-Mashat praised the Kingdom’s financial contribution to creating new jobs and achieving the goals of the National Development Agenda 2030.
In June, the committee agreed to fund three projects for the Agricultural Bank and two health care initiatives to the tune of $19 million.
The three projects will finance small and micro enterprises in rural villages, targeting projects undertaken by women as well as handicraft activities.
Financing programs targeted by the Bank of Alexandria include digital transformation in the bank’s 176 branches in 26 governorates, with a focus on the Cairo and Alexandria governorates.
The second program will finance handicraft micro-projects through the bank’s branches in 26 governorates, focusing on the governorates of Delta, Upper Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria.
The bank’s portfolio in the medium, small and micro enterprises sector is worth about $600 million.
According to an official statement, it is expected that about 1,475 clients will benefit from the funds, with 30 percent going to women-owned companies and 45 percent to firms owned by people under 35.
The most prominent intermediaries are the National Bank of Egypt and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, in addition to the beneficiaries of the direct grant financing, including FJ Hermes Financial Leasing Company and Inmaa Leasing Company.

 

 


Saudi central bank governor expects more competition, growth in fintech

Updated 01 December 2020

Saudi central bank governor expects more competition, growth in fintech

  • SAMA issued several regulations and systems related to fintech, as part of its efforts to promote the sector

DUBAI: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) expects more competition and growth in the new sectors such as financial technology (fintech), as well as the conventional industries of the capital market, including banks, said Governor Ahmed Alkholeify.

Speaking during the opening session of “Fintech Tour 2020”, the SAMA governor stated that the central bank took a key step towards activating the Sandbox experimental environment, which resulted in the establishment of 32 fintech firms.

In addition, SAMA issued several regulations and systems related to fintech, as part of its efforts to promote the sector and achieve the targets of the financial sector development program, he added.

Meanwhile, Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, chairman, Capital Market Authority (CMA) highlighted the importance of innovation in fintech-related solutions in the capital market, adding that fintech enables the capital market to capitalize and reach out to more segments of companies and investors who previously had no access to the capital market.

"This technology has successfully delivered services to the largest possible number of people. We are excited about what fintech can provide for the capital market in terms of broadening its base of participants and beneficiaries."

El-Kuwaiz also indicated that fintech solutions are innovative by nature, and hence require tailored regulatory frameworks.

The CMA continues to motivate and enable entrepreneurs, with three rounds of licensing fintech companies completed, resulting in licensing of 15 firms in various domains, the chairman stated.

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